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piety, for heartfelt religion, though you know in the dying hour every thing short of this will fail you; and may not the time of your departure be at hand; may not your removal out of this world be instantaneous; may you not be summoned away in the twinkling of an eye? you know the thing is possible, you know such instances frequently occur, then why will you not take warning, why will you play upon the brink of a precipice, why will you trifle with the invitations of your Maker; with the mercy of tle Most High, when you know not but the present invitation may be the last, and that after death cometh the judgment; yea, no sooner are you gone out of time, than your condition is unutterably fixt; what wise man then would refuse to go to a Saviour; what thoughtful considerate person would neglect the great and common salvation? O! that ye were wise, that ye experimentally understood these things, that ye would consider your latter end.

Now to God the Father, &c.


1. KINGS, CHAP. 17, PART OF VERSE 18. Art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance?

THIS chapter introduces to our notice Elijah the Tishbite that famous prophet of the Lord who was translated that he should not see death; being taken up into heaven by a whirlwind. He denounces a judgment against Ahab, one of the worst kings of Israel, and miracuously raises a widow's son to life. He is sustained during a famine by the agency of ravens, who we are told, brought him bread and flesh in the morning and bread and flesh in the evening, and he drank of the brook; and when the brook was dried up, because there had been no rain in the land, he was directed to Zarephath, and a poor widow was commanded to sustain him there: and after a while, it is said, the son of this woman fell sick and died; and she said to Elijah, What have 1 to do with thee, O thou man of God; art thou come unto me to call my sins to re

membrance, and to slay my son? Now, as the apostle observes, no scripture is of private inter pretation, and that what things were written aforetime, were written for our learning; I shall, in discoursing from these words, notice the office of a Christian minister: secondly, state the design of this office; and conclude with some improvement.

I purpose then, first, to consider the office of a Christian minister. He is to bring the sin of the people to remembrance; that is, those who are committed to his charge, the souls over whom the providence of God has placed him. Does not this imply that peolpe in general are unmindful of their sins, careless about their souls, insensible of their danger, unconscious of their state; and this insensibility arises from their prevailing love of sin, from their rooted attachment to evil, and from their distaste to that which is good. All, in their natural state, love darkness rather than light, manifest a strange aversion to embrace the light; that is to entertain Christian doctrines, to imbibe Christian principles, and to cherish Christian sentiments: and what, my brethren, is this to be attributed to, but to a depraved nature, to a corrupt heart, to a degenerate spirit? A minister of the gospel then, is to act as a faithful remem. brancer; he is to set before the people their sins, to shew them their transgressions, to state,

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the penalty due to sin, to set forth the requirements of God's law, the curse impending over the ungodly, the nature of that wrath. which will be inflicted upon the impenitent and unbelieving. He is to exhibit sin in its proper colours, in its aggravated circumstances, in its malignant nature. He is to shew the horrid ingratitude there is in sin, as being committed against the best of Beings, the Father of Mercies, the dispenser of our blessings; against our benevolent Creator, upon whom we are continually dependant for every good, who holdeth our soul in life, who keepeth all our bones, who suffereth not our feet to slip. He is to set forth the origin of sin, its entrance into our world, the way in which it was introduced, the manner in which it was perpetrated. He is to represent its lamentable effects, its awful consequences, the misery that attends it. He is to exhibit the confusion it has occasioned, the desolation it has spread, the vengeance it has called forth-not upon a solitary individual merely, not here and there upon a family only, but upon villages and hamlets, upon towns and cities, upon kingdoms and nations, yea, upon a world of men and things, with the exception of one household. Now the faithful minister, the Christian remembrancer, the ambassador of heaven, the pleader of the cause of truth, is to do this in an affectionate manner, in a persuasive

way, in language sufficiently plain; but he is to lay the axe, if I may so express myself, at the root of the tree, and like a skilful surveyor he must probe the wound to the bottom; and not like a quack, or inexperienced practitioner, merely skim over the surface or heal the wound which sin has made, slightly. Moreover, he is not only to call the sins of his people to remembrance in public, but also in private. He is hot to confine himself to the Sunday lectures in the Church, but he must go from house to house, dispersing religious knowledge, charging and admonishing, and exhorting his flock with all fidelity as occasion may require, and having set forth the nature and malignity of sin, he is to exhibit the sovereign remedy, the all-sufficient Saviour, he is to expatiate upon the love of God, the incarnation of Christ, the office of the Spirit, the freeness of the divine mercy. He is to encourage sinners to go to a Saviour as their only hope, their city of refuge, their covert from the storm. He is to invite them to build upon this foundation by discarding all dependance upon works, in point of merit; all trust in duties, by way of justification; all confidence in self, in order to recommend them before God, since our best performances are mixed with sin, our holiest duties are mingled with evil, our purest services are not free from defilement. Where is the man that doeth only good, and that con

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